289. The UNCTAD Secretariat through its IP unit implements a work programme on the development dimensions of IP rights. The work programme is designed to respond to the mandate received from member States at the Ministerial Conference in Nairobi in July 2016, as well as to the intergovernmental request under the WIPO Development Agenda and the World Health Assembly Resolution 61.21 on a Global Strategy and Plan of Action on Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property. The IP unit, located in the Division on Investment and Enterprise, conducts research and policy analysis on trade and development aspects of intellectual property, facilitates consensus-building and responds to requests for technical assistance and advises on policy options for successfully integrating developing countries into the world economy. This document provides an overview of UNCTAD's IP and development related activities during the period of November 2016 to October 2017. More information on past activities is available at www.unctad.org/ddip and www.iprsonline.org.
290. On a request basis, UNCTAD's IP Unit conducts technical cooperation activities with developing countries in the integrated areas of investment, trade and intellectual property. The technical assistance activities are partly funded by donor governments and institutions.
291. UNCTAD was requested by its Commission on Investment, Technology and Related Financial Issues in 2005 to assess ways in which developing countries can develop their domestic productive capability in the supply of essential drugs in cooperation with pharmaceutical companies. In the pursuit of this mandate, UNCTAD implements a work programme on local pharmaceutical production, with a view to assisting developing countries and least-developed countries (LDCs) in particular, to utilize IP rights as tools that facilitate increased access to affordable medicines, and, where feasible, to promote domestic and foreign investment to create local or regional pharmaceutical production and supply capacities. The programme is supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
292. Funded by the German International Cooperation (GIZ), UNCTAD's work programme assists developing countries' efforts to promote coherence of policies in respect of health, trade and industrial development and ensure that local pharmaceutical production increases access to medicines. UNCTAD and GIZ pursue this activity on a regional basis in South-East Asia and the East African Community (EAC).
293. In 2016, UNCTAD launched its technical assistance programme on IP, transfer of technology and trade facilitation, with the financial support from the Government of Germany (BMZ). The programme focuses on the use of IP regimes for the promotion of technological absorption capacities and discusses the use of IP rights such as trademarks for trade facilitation.
294. IP rights and biodiversity and geographical indications. In 2011, UNCTAD launched its technical assistance programme on IP and biodiversity, with financial support from the Government of Germany (BMZ) and in cooperation with GIZ. The programme has focused on the building of local capacities, in developing countries, to design and enforce domestic trade, customs and IP laws in line with access and benefit sharing rules under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), its Nagoya Protocol and the UN Declaration of the Rights of the Indigenous Peoples. UNCTAD has implemented various training courses in developing countries in this area, based on its 2014 Handbook on the interface between global access and beneficiary rules and intellectual property, and entitled the convention on biological diversity and the Nagoya protocol intellectual property implications. An important part of this work concerns the potential of distinctive signs such as geographical indications to promote the use of biodiversity derived products and traditional knowledge.
295. UNCTAD provides, upon request by a developing country or least-developed country, advisory reports on the development dimensions of intellectual property (DDIP). The objective of a DDIP report is to provide well-researched and reasoned advice on developing countries' and LDCs' policy, legal and institutional framework for IPRs, particularly as it relates to important development objectives such as innovation, technology, investment, competition, education and health. Developing countries specify the key development objectives they wish to examine. A DDIP report will take into consideration the socio-economic situation of the requesting country, the bilateral, regional and international commitments the target countries have entered into and the flexibilities available to them. Based on this analysis, the reports incorporate medium to long term recommendations on how governments and other stakeholders could make these frameworks more coherent and transparent, with a view to making IP rights contribute to a country's sustainable economic and human development goals, and respond to emerging global opportunities.
296. At the request of the Ethiopian Government, UNCTAD works closely with the WHO on the implementation of the National Strategy and Plan of Action for Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Development (2015 2025). Staff of UNCTAD's IP Unit frequently participates in capacity-building workshops on IP and development issues organized by other providers of IP-related technical assistance. For instance, UNCTAD was invited by WIPO and WTO to contribute to the 2017 WIPO-WTO Advanced Course on IP for Government Officials. In April and May 2017, UNCTAD invited WTO to make contributions to two multi-stakeholder workshops organized by UNCTAD in Senegal and Cuba.
297. UNCTAD undertakes research and analysis on trade and development aspects of Intellectual Property and provides advisory reports for developing countries. Currently, UNCTAD is finalizing a "Tool Box for Policy Coherence in Access to Medicines and Local Pharmaceutical Production", in collaboration with GIZ. The Tool Box is designed as a quick reference tool for developing country policy makers on the various policies related to health, industrial development, trade, investment, innovation and IP and how they may be used to contribute to local production and access to medicines.
298. Consensus-building among stakeholders on issues of IP is an important element of our programmer's work. UNCTAD's substantive contributions on the analysis of issues related to development and IP have enabled it to become an important forum, through its intergovernmental machinery, where governments, academia, civil society and the private sector can meet to exchange ideas. A recent example of UNCTAD's consensus building activity is the ad hoc expert group meeting on new investment models in health-related recession development the case of antibiotics resistance, which we organized on 5 October 2017 at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. The purpose of this meeting was to promote an informal exchange on views of how to promote investment to address antibiotic resistance. The meeting was attended by experts from national governments, the private sector, civil society and intergovernmental organizations.
299. The list of activities for the period between 1 November 2016 and 15 October 2017 is available in our recent report. For more information on UNCTAD's activities related to IP, please visit the UNCTAD website.